Last weekend, from 26-28 September, young liberal-minded youth from all over Greece publicly convened in the City Hall of Thessaloniki, the European Youth Capital 2014, to debate and propose reform projects for Greece in a united Europe. They were joined by twenty young politicians from all over Europe who met in Thessaloniki for a leader’s meeting of the European Liberal Youth (LYMEC).
A declaration was passed which demands numerous reforms in the economic sector, the creation of job opportunities, and reforms of the Greek education system and public administration. It further discusses Greece’s role in the European Union. Most importantly, the declaration calls for
- lower taxes and contributions on employment, replacing subsidies with long-term loans for start-up companies and establishing special economic zones to attract investments,
- a fundamental reform of the Greek education system in order to promote excellency, the establishment of private universities to facilitate competition and to raise the quality of the university system,
- Greek politicians to stop blaming “Brussels” for their own shortcomings and rather to spread the knowledge among Greek citizens on what the European Union is and how it functions,
- The simplification of civil institutions so as to reduce bureaucracy and the number of civil servants, and to minimize the risk of early elections as they destabilize the political system.
The declaration, which after tough deliberations was adopted by unanimous vote, is a clear signal to policy makers that Greece’s future lies in creating opportunities for every single citizen in a more free and open society – “Shaping the Youth Agenda for 2021” is a wake-up call for all parliamentarians in Greece and on the European level. The declaration can be downloaded here.
The event was facilitated by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF). The resulting declaration was discussed and adopted only by liberal Greek youth.